Friday, December 21, 2012

The year in review



You may have been hearing chatter in the news about home prices starting to rise. This could be the case  in some markets, particularly those that were hit the hardest like Nevada, Arizona, and Florida. In these markets home prices were so depressed there was no way to go but up. However I have not seen prices rising  in the New Bern area although they seem to be stabilizing and personally believe we are close to the bottom of the market. Homes are currently selling at around 1999-2000 price levels.

From 01-01-12 through 12-22-12 there have been 951 homes sold in Craven County. This compares to 930 during the same time frame in 2011. A little bump and certainly I welcome any positive news. During the same time period in 2011 there were 249 distressed properties, (bank owned, foreclosures, short sales), sold. In 2012 there have been 227 distressed properties sold, almost a 10% decrease. However, in Oct., Nov., Dec. 2012 saw a 17% increase in distressed property sales compared to the same time in 2011. It is impossible to have a housing recovery as long the rate of distressed properties sold is increasing. Lets hope the trend of the last 3 months ends soon.

In 2012 distress properties comprised 24% of the home sales in the Craven County market. Even though this is an improvement over 2011, (27%), in a healthy market this number probably would be in the 2-4% range. Nationwide distressed sales comprise about 25% of sales so were are not any worse than most areas if that makes you feel better. Lending guidelines were tightened up after the mortgage crash in 2008 and in the long run this will result in a decrease in foreclosures and ultimately help stabilize housing prices.

We have a long way to go, however, it appears we are moving in the right direction. We need for the economy to start improving and producing private sector jobs before we see home prices rise. Each year our population is growing and with that more folks are coming of the age to buy a home. There is undoubtedly a pent up demand for housing out there lurking and what is missing in a in a strong housing recovery are good jobs.

Homes sold in 2012 by price range,

$1000-$50000=97
$50001-$100000=183
$101000-$150000=245
$150100-$200000=258
$200100-$250000=134
$250100-$300000=53
$300100-$350000=20
$350100-$400000=19
$400100-$450000=8
$450100-$500000=3
$500100-$550000=4
$550100-$600000=3

For homes over $250,000 there is about a 21 month absorption rate. In other words, expect it to take 21 months to sell a home in this price range unless a home offers something unique. Retirees use to be a large portion of the buyers in this price range. Because they had to sell their homes at a reduced price to move here they are now buying less expensive homes. Active duty military officers  use to buy quite a few homes in this price range as well and now many now are opting to rent. All this makes for tough selling conditions for homes over $250,000.

If you have any questions about any particular price range or even sales in a particular subdivision let me know. I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas.

For more information on Real estate go to www.newbern-nc.info














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